Previous studies indicate that the dark conductivity in amorphous and microcrystalline silicon may increase or decrease with exposure to deionized water (DIW) or pure oxygen at 80 degrees C but always decreases with light exposure. While the light-induced effect is linked to paramagnetic dangling bonds (D degrees), the origin of metastability in microcrystalline silicon remains unclear. In this study, we use steady-state photoconductivity (SSPC), dual-beam photoconductivity (DBP), and electron spin resonance (ESR), to study the behaviors under soaking in DIW and (or) pure oxygen at 80 degrees C and light-exposure of amorphous (a-Si:H) and nanostructured (nc-Si:H) silicon samples deposited in a capacitively coupled plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition system. Powders from thick samples of low and high crystallinity (Xc) peeling off large substrates were collected in quartz tubes for ESR measurements. Dark conductivity decreases upon exposure to pure oxygen at 80 degrees C for nc-Si: H but remains unchanged for a-Si: H. The ESR signal attributed to D degrees decreases with soaking in DIW for high and low crystallinity nc-Si: H but the effect is more significant for higher Xc. Changes in SSPC, DBP, and ESR are used to compare the degradation mechanisms because of O-2 exposure and light for amorphous and nanostructured silicon.